Michigan v. Wilson (Opinion on Application)Annotate this Case
Dwayne Wilson was convicted by jury on one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony (felony-firearm), and two counts of unlawful imprisonment. Because defendant had two prior felony-firearm convictions, defendant was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment as a third felony-firearm offender under MCL 750.227b(1), followed by concurrent terms of 100 to 180 months’ imprisonment for the unlawful-imprisonment counts. Defendant objected at sentencing, arguing that his felony-firearm sentence was improper because his two prior convictions for felony-firearm arose from a single incident. Defendant cited Michigan v Stewart, 441 Mich 89 (1992), but the circuit court held that Stewart was no longer good law because it relied on Michigan v Preuss, 436 Mich 714 (1990), which had been overruled by Michigan v Gardner, 482 Mich 41 (2008), and the court further held that nothing in the language of MCL 750.227b(1) required the previous felony-firearm convictions to have arisen from separate incidents. Defendant appealed, and the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded in an unpublished per curiam opinion, holding that defendant should have been sentenced as a second felony-firearm offender rather than a third felony-firearm offender because lower courts remained bound by Stewart unless and until the Supreme Court overruled it. The Court of Appeals further held that defendant was entitled to a remand under Michigan v Lockridge, 498 Mich 358 (2015). The prosecution appealed, and the Michigan Supreme Court overruled Stewart because it found nothing in the text of MCL 750.227b(1) required a repeat felony-firearm offender’s prior felony-firearm convictions arise from separate criminal incidents, and the stare decisis factors did not counsel in favor of retaining the erroneous rule.